Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that is a spread from person to person through the air.  TB usually affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidney, or the spine.  The TB germs are put into the air when a person coughs, sneezes, laughs or sings.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS PER TB GUIDELINES:

Productive, prolonged cough and/or hoarseness lasting greater than or equal to 3 weeks

Recent unplanned weight loss

Fever or night sweats for more than 1 week

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

Tuberculosis germs are inhaled into your lungs when you share breathing space with someone with active tuberculosis disease.  This is usually at home, where you work, or where you spend most of your free time.  You don’t get it from a brief or casual contact in the open air.  Often the source of infection is not known and you may have been unknowingly infected years ago.

The Skin Test:

 The purpose of the skin test is to tell whether you have become infected with the germs (bacteria) that cause tuberculosis.

 

The test site is examined 48-72 hours after the test is given.

If the result is Negative:

It usually means you are not infected with tuberculosis germs.  However, certain medicines or medical conditions, which affect the body’s immunity, may cause a negative test result.

If the result is Positive:

It means you have been infected with tuberculosis and you now have the germs in your body that may cause TB disease.  It may not mean that you have tuberculosis disease or that you can give it to other people.  A chest x-ray, and perhaps other tests should be done to see if you have tuberculosis.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

Once you are infected, you can develop TB disease anytime in your life.  If your chest x-ray is normal and you have no symptoms, drug treatment may be recommended to prevent tuberculosis disease now and in the future.  The drug most used is called Isoniazid (INH) and must be taken every day for 6 to 9 months.  Prevention is important for your health as well as for the health of those close to you.

IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL:

Students known to have a positive Tuberculosis Skin Test, and who do not present with signs and symptoms, are not required to provide a note from a healthcare provider to return to school.

 

Students with active TB must be excluded from school until cleared with a written not from a healthcare provider or Broward County Department of Health.

 

If Tuberculosis is reported, immediately call Coordinated Student Health Services at 754-321-1575.

 

The Tuberculosis Department of the Department of Health-Broward will investigate and advise if follow-up action is required.